Game On: Improved physics and gameplay on “UFC 2” make fighting more realistic than ever
One of the most popular sporting events on TV is the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. EA Sports is known for making some of the most true-to-life sports games on the market like “Madden” and “FIFA,” and in 2014 EA released their first UFC game with much critical success. “EA Sports UFC 2” builds on the best elements of the last game adding even more polish, better graphics, and improved gameplay.
“UFC 1” wasn’t a bad game. It had many redeeming qualities. The gameplay was mostly solid except for some technical issues, and some of the ground grappling was a bit weird. The biggest criticism of the wrestling was that because of the animations, it felt turn-based and based on luck. Now the gameplay is based on the stamina and the stats of the fighter, which makes it feel more realistic. There is a display on the screen that shows you what actions are available at the time based on your position, making it much easier to pick your moves. The stand-up fighting in the last game was good, but now it has been improved with better physics making each hit feel more brutal.
The fighting isn’t the only thing that has improved. All of the game modes have also received a face lift. The “Career Mode” is back, and there are a ton of new options to customize and train your fighter, but now if you train too hard you might get injured, which will hurt your next couple of fights. You can also get randomly sabotaged by your fighter’s outside-of -the ring activities like too much TV watching. It’s annoying because you can’t control it, but it does spice things up in interesting ways. As you progress through the career, you will encounter any number of real UFC fighters from the huge roster of over 250 fighters.
Just like the other EA games “UFC 2” has an “Ultimate Team Mode” in which you can create up to five fighters that can be upgraded to use online. As you fight, you gain coins to earn more improvements. There is also a Live Event mode which is similar to fantasy UFC, because you can guess who you think will win real events. The other addition is the “Knockout Mode,” which is like a regular fighting game because it’s just stand-up fighting without takedowns or grapples. There is also standard online gameplay,which entails straight forward fighting and ranked fights to gain experience for your created characters.
The highlight of the last game for me was the added special character, you could fight as Bruce Lee, which was awesome, but he didn’t feel like he was meant to be in the UFC, because he is mainly a striking character and not a grappler. This time Bruce is back and he is joined by “Iron” Mike Tyson, who is of course also mainly a puncher, but it’s still cool to see.
Overall I really like “UFC 2.” It has all the best elements from the last game and improved on it in every way. The graphics are unbelievable, and the new physics make everything feel more realistic than ever. If you are an MMA fan, you have to try this game. It will allow you to live your dream of creating a fighter, moving up the ranks of the UFC and even taking the fight online.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: T for Teen: Blood, Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
Developer: Electronic Arts